Sunday, October 22, 2017

Two Americans at a Schlachtfest...

About a year ago, I found out from our local weekly paper that our town was having a Schlactfest.  It was being held by a local evangelical church.  I asked my German friend Susanne about it.  She told me it's an annual thing.  It's strictly to raise money.  There would be no religious pressure, which was a concern Bill had.

Well, we went to the Schlachtfest, but by the time we got there, it was really crowded and we were overwhelmed by the process.  We ended up walking around looking at what was going on, but we didn't actually eat.  This year, when I found out the Schlachtfest was going on again, I told Bill we should go early and actually try the food.  So that's what we did.

The Schlachtfest started at 11:30am and we got there at about noon.  We spent a couple of minutes looking bewildered as we tried to figure out what to do.  Finally, Bill told me to go save us a couple of seats and he went and bought tickets, which was the right thing to do.  There were three options today.  A Schlachtplatte was the biggest and most expensive option.  It consisted of two sausages, a very large piece of bacon, and sauerkraut.  There was Schnitzel, which came with green salad and potato salad.  There was also Bratwurst, which came with a green salad, potato salad, and bread.  I was intrigued by the Schlachtplatte, but then I got a look at it and decided to stick with the Schnitzel.

So, Bill bought the tickets and we took seats across from a young guy who was enjoying a Schnitzel. I think he was getting a big kick out of us, because we're clearly not really locals.  Food runners came up to us and asked what to bring us.  Bill handed him our tickets and they brought us our food.  Then a guy came through with a cart laden with beer, wine, water, and soda.  We gave her our tickets for two beers (they also had alcohol free radlers), and received two room temperature beers.

As I explained last year, a Schlachtfest is a festival dedicated to meat.  It typically involves the ceremonial slaughter of a pig, which is then used to make sausages and schnitzels.  Our fest here in Jettingen also involves the sale of cakes made by the a local women's club.  I would have liked to have tried them, but they were going to be brought out until 1:30pm and we were both too full to think of eating cake after all we got.  Seriously... this has been a weekend of cheap eats.  My schnitzel and Bill's bratwurst and two beers cost just sixteen euros.  But it was a lot of food.


When you walk in, you buy your tickets.  I see the Schlachtplatte is one euro more expensive this year.


Then you search for a place to sit.  We were there early enough to easily find a spot.  When the food runner comes up to you, hand them your ticket and they will bring you your food and silverware.


Big table where the food was coming out.  It was all very well organized.


A little beer...


Salad.


Sorry, I had to laugh at the bratwurst.  It was a little obscene looking!  But Bill said it was delicious.  After trying it myself, I have to agree.  It was very good sausage and obviously fresh.  The young guy across from us was laughing, probably because he could tell what I was thinking.  I have a dirty mind.


My schnitzel, of which I only finished half.

We weren't the only ones who were confused about the process.  A German lady approached Bill and asked him what to do.  I was very proud to hear him tell her in German what the process was.  As I looked around, I noticed that everyone seemed to be in a really good mood.  Neighbors were enjoying each other's company.  In fact, we saw one of our neighbors, as well as the mayor of Jettingen.  It's a very well attended event.


We were smart to get there early, though.



The above two pics were what I could get of the Schlachtplatte, which is no doubt very popular with the locals.  I don't like sauerkraut, though, and I tend to be leery of certain types of sausage.  I will eat haggis though, so go figure that one.


Another shot of the crowd.  If it's like last year, there will probably be a concert later.


They even had games for the kids out in the lobby.

Chances are good that if you're living in Germany, there's a Schlachtfest near you, too.  You can go with the family, enjoy some cheap food and local camaraderie, and maybe even take in a concert if you hang around long enough.  I'm kind of tempted to send Bill back there for cakes to go.  They also had a waffle station and a book table, which Bill originally thought was a "butcher table".  I had to remind him of the German words for book and butcher.

If we're still here next year, we'll have to go again with more of an appetite.

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